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Peaceable Kingdom Masks

Lesson Plan and Artwork by Ed Leary, School Specialty Art Consultant, Florida
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Lesson Plan
Grades PreK
Sax Lesson Plans, Art, Social Studies, Language Arts
Sax, Roylco


Cultures around the world and throughout time have told vivid animal stories. Ascribing emotions and motivations to animals is a way for humans to better understand themselves. Children love to hear these stories, drinking in their rich imagery and identifying with the feelings they conjure. They also love to tell such stories, especially when they're dressed for the part! To that end, your students can embellish expressive animal masks with simple, colorful materials.


  • Students will design and create masks inspired by animal characteristics. Students will visually interpret and re-enact animal stories and folktales from around the world.

Supplies Needed

Roylco® Wild Animal Masks, 30-count pack 410523
Raffia Vari-Color, 12 oz. 227133
Roylco® Amazing Animal Papers, 40 assorted sheets 247334
Roylco® Fabric Mosaics/Remnants, 400-count pack 1289188
School Smart Non-Toxic Washable Tempera Paint Set, 1 pt 1 pt Plastic Bottle, Assorted Glitter Color, Set of 1439241
School Smart Non-Toxic Washable Tempera Paint Set, 1 pt 1 pt Plastic Bottle, Assorted Metallic Color, Set of 6 1439242
Poster Paint Markers, 10-color set 077716
Prang® Washable Markers, 8-color set 210782
TRU-RAY® Construction Paper, 9"x12", Assorted colors, Pack of 50 sheets 054054
Elmer's® School Glue, 4 oz. 008970
Chenille Stems, 100 assorted colors, each 12" 08581
Feathers, 12 assorted solid colors, each 12" 086302

Culture Mask Prints, 12-print set 424323
Crystal Productions Aboriginal Art Prints, Set 2 with Guide - Includes 12 prints, teachers guide, portfolio - 16 x 12 inches each - DVD - 28 Minutes 404610


Content Standard #1: Understanding and applying media, techniques and processes
Content Standard #6: Making connections between visual arts and other disciplines


Step 1

Motivate students to create their own animal masks:

  • Share fiction and nonfiction books, DVDs and audio stories about animals.
  • Visit a natural history museum to gather information about animal appearance, habitat, behavior, diet and the like.
  • Ask questions about animals such as “Did you know koalas live in Australia?” or “Why does the hippopotamus have eyes on the top of its head?”
  • Discuss how people in different cultures wear animal masks to celebrate certain events, and display such masks in the classroom.
  • Step 2

    Select a wild animal mask. Remove loose pieces from the mask and discard.

    Step 3

    Gather art supplies with which to embellish the mask: paper, yarn, scissors, glue, crayons, masking tape, washable paint, paint markers and fabric remnants.

    Step 4

    Keep the mask flat to decorate it, following a picture or sample as necessary for guidance on color and patterns. Let washable paint and paint markers dry. Then glue on decorative paper, yarn, fabric remnants and the like.

    Step 5

    Fold mask along the lines and pleats. Tape.

    Step 6

    Attach one chenille stem to each side of the mask to hold it over the face.

    Lesson plan extensions:

  • Write a description of the animal or a short story, poem or play about it. Wear masks while performing the play.
  • Read and perform native stories, folktales and legends about animals.
  • Create a diorama that includes the animal, its habitat and surroundings.
  • Sing songs about the animal and play music from the culture in its native region.
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